When I asked Culley if there was some kind of service I could do for his birthday, he said he'd like to have the planters on his deck cleaned up and replanted with annuals and some more perennials.
First, I drew a diagram of the deck and the placement of all the planters with their existing perennials, and then I set my mind to dreaming. I was thinking about color, seasons, deer, and children, all of which had to be factored in-- deer-proof stuff for the patio, flowers Nell could pick, spaces for the fairy gardens she and Huck like to make, plants that would bloom until Thanksgiving and ones that would return next spring, textures that would be pleasing against the oak backdrop that surrounded the deck, and colors that would be complimentary. I made lots of notes . . .
And then I went shopping and filled Cindy's truck with six packs and quart pots. I couldn't find the bulbs I wanted, but I would plant those later in the fall. At the house, I spent several hours cleaning up the planters, turning the existing potting soil and adding new soil to many of the planters. Then Cindy joined me, and we got to work planting. It took us 2 days. The work was such fun that at one point, Cindy said, "Why don't we do this for a living?" I was on exactly the same page. There could not be a more pleasant past time than working in the dirt with a passel of plants.
We filled the deck and patio with lavender, society garlic, petunias and zinnias and ganzia, coleus and baby roses, star jasmine and even a Japanese maple, to name a few. I'm looking forward to watching this garden grow, sure that in a month or so my dreaming will be realized.
Thanks Culley. This was a mutually beneficial exchange.